I have been a screaming, deranged and obsessed fan of New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) for about 22 years, so this will not be an unbiased review of their July 3 concert. In fact, the majority of people who flocked to the Mandalay Bay Events Center—minus some dorky dudes who went thinking it was a good place to meet chicks—would admit there’s little that could’ve happened onstage, good or bad, that would’ve made the experience anything less than “magical.”

This year, the ’80s uber-boy band, who have been touring summer arenas since 2009, brought along their ’90s counterparts, the Backstreet Boys (BSB) to create an acronym extravaganza, NKOTBSB. The result was two hours of well-defined abs, sparkly shirts and pelvic thrusts, which could be seen from both the back and front on the long narrow stage that jutted into the audience. The bands shared equal billing and rotated through a set list of their greatest hits much to the delight of the crowd of die-hard fans.

The only difference between this concert and the first time I saw the New Kids (Magic Summer tour in 1990 at Dodger Stadium, thank you very much) was that everyone was drunk—and instead of being kids, some women brought their kids. One fan got so wound up (on vodka cocktails) that she came tumbling down the steps during “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and pegged me in the back of the head with her shoe. And from the looks of the merch line after the show, the Kids, who are worth an estimated $40 to $60 million apiece, will keep giving us fans exactly what we want: a walk down memory lane.

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Concert Review


By Sean DeFrank

I asked my editors days before Rush’s June 24 concert at the MGM Grand Garden, “Do you want my review before or after the show?” It was said only partly in jest, as I have been an unabashed fan of the Canadian power trio for about 30 years and have seen them perform live about 10 times, coming away from each show with renewed admiration for their musical wizardry. This time around was no different as the band traveled to Vegas again for their Time Machine tour, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Rush’s most popular album, Moving Pictures.